A 100-Person Space Station (1969)

Over the decades, many of Aviation Week’s scoops involved ambitious proposals that never came to be. Five months before Apollo 11 astronauts set foot on the Moon, NASA was already pursuing some grandiose plans for the post-Apollo era.  In a February 1969 article, space technology editor William J. Normyle revealed that officials for NASA’s manned space program were drawing up plans for a massive space station that could accommodate 100 astronauts and be used for both civil and military purposes.

Under the grand proposal, the station would be built in a modular fashion, starting in 1975 with completion in 1980. One challenge: waste management. “If three men in a spacecraft the size of Apollo can complain about poor waste management systems, NASA officials shudder at what could happen with a large space station,” Normyle dryly opined.  Alas, it would take another three decades before the much smaller -- but still large -- International Space Station would start to be assembled and begin operations.

Read Normyle’s original story from the Feb. 24, 1969 edition of Aviation Week.

Discuss this Blog Entry 1

on May 5, 2016

Judging from the growing number of comments I've seen which reference artificial gravity, I think a number of you might be interested in the following excerpt from that article of almost a half-century ago:

"A final key decision that has been made in recent weeks is the acceptance of some form of artificial gravity for the extended-life space station."

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Aviation Week is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2016. Here, we highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.

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